Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review : Preaching

Tim Keller covers all aspects of preaching to a local church congregation in his book, Preaching. As someone who preaches a little, I found the information very helpful.

Keller begins by explaining the basics that should be in virtually every sermon. The next few chapters I found particularly useful. There is an inclination to preach what we most need to hear ourselves. So if the preacher is tempted towards legalism they will preach grace but if the preacher is inclined towards permissiveness they will preach morality. Whereas both need to be peached in balance and as Keller points out these temptations spring from the same root cause, that is, a faulty view of God.

I found the chapters on culture and the modern mind a bit laborious. Probably because I didn't find them entirely relevant to my Australian setting. However the concluding chapters were again very informative and helpful. Keller spoke about a preacher's tendency to preach to the needs of those people we most surround ourselves with and therefore it is important to widening our circle of "conversation partners". This is a good point as it is easy to focus on a small range of Biblical principles. Keller likes to quote Jonathan Edwards directly and though Edwards makes some good points, I struggled with the dated terminology.

In the appendix, Keller includes a lengthy explanation of how to prepare an expository message. While this is not the way I prepare sermons, it may be helpful for younger preachers.

Overall a worthwhile book with great insights.

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